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Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle, left, and catcher Yan Gomes leap in celebration after the team's 7-3 win in Game 5 of a baseball National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Unstoppable Nationals on cusp of making franchise history

Who could have predicted that the Washington Nationals would be up 2-0 in the world series against the Houston Astros? A majority of that sentence would have sounded insane midway through the season. The Nationals were sitting with the same amount of losses as the Detroit Tigers on June 1. Detroit went on to finish with the worst record in the MLB while Washington shocked the world beating a talented Los Angeles Dodgers team and sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals. This team looks unstoppable.

Now, the Nationals are two games away from taking home the Commissioner’s Trophy and have already pummeled Houston’s two best pitchers. If Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander can’t stop the surging Nats, what hope is there then?

Midseason Transactions

It’s easy to see how Washington was able to turn its season around and go on a completely separate path than Detroit. On June 1, the Nationals signed Fernando Rodney a few days after the Oakland A’s released him. He would add a veteran arm to the bullpen which proved valuable in the postseason. In Rodney’s four appearances this postseason, he has yet to allow a run while striking out five in three and two-thirds innings pitched.

At the trade deadline on July 31, the Nationals decided to show they were all in by trading for an experienced arm. Daniel Hudson was acquired from Toronto to bolster a bullpen that had a 5.99 ERA. It worked.

Hudson allowed just four earned runs in 25 innings pitched with the Nationals, securing five saves over the final two weeks of the season. It has been the same dominance in the postseason – seven appearances with just one earned run. Before pitching in game one of the World Series, Hudson didn’t allow an earned run in his last 15 appearances.

Washington manager Davey Martinez knew he had a tough, resilient team. Despite some calling for him to be fired after a terrible start, he just needed a few extra pieces to turn the season around.

It’s a long season. The first two months were rough, but the Nationals never quit and turned the team into an unstoppable postseason powerhouse.

Game Three

Washington could not have asked for a better start to this world series. Overpowering the Astros’ two pitching aces on the road and now heading home for three straight games. The series seems over, but some Nationals’ players are taking one game at a time.

Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon has had an incredible season, both offensively and defensively.

https://twitter.com/Nationals/status/1187474975369957376

He said the start to this series was great, but there’s a lot of baseball still to play.

Houston plans to have Zach Greinke on the mound for game three tonight. He has yet to win a game this postseason while getting rocked for ten earned runs in 14 innings.

Washington sends Anibal Sanchez to the hill as their starter. He’s had a rocky season, but like all Washington pitchers apparently, he’s been unstoppable this postseason. Just one run allowed in over 12 innings while sending 14 batters down on strikes.

With two pitchers having different performances in the regular season and postseason, this game could go either way. The home crowd could make the difference.

 

 

 

 

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